Anyone facing a criminal charge will potentially be impacted in numerous ways. The emotional stress, worry about impact on driving status or employment, financial implications, and potential loss of freedom are serious, life-altering concerns. Non U.S. citizens, however, also have immigration consequences to consider.
At the Law Office of Kelli Y. Allen, PLLC, our team practices criminal law and immigration law. We understand how a criminal conviction can impact the life of a non-U.S. citizen, and are prepared to help you defend your rights. Our understanding of both criminal law and immigration law allows us to craft legal strategies that will not only help you avoid charges, but will help you avoid the potential impact on your immigration case. Contact us today.
For a consultation with our criminal defense lawyers in Charlotte, complete our contact formor call (704) 870-0340.
How Criminal Charges Can Impact Non-U.S. Citizens
Unless you are a U.S. citizen, conviction of a crime can jeopardize your ability to remain in the United States, and it is imperative to consider the potential immigration consequences when dealing with any criminal charge. Whether you are here without status, on a valid visa, or hold lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, criminal issues present a variety of possible implications. If you are not yet an LPR, certain convictions will make you “inadmissible,” meaning not eligible to obtain lawful status. If you are an LPR, many convictions will render you “removeable,” meaning that you could lose your permanent resident status and be ordered removed from the United States. Even if not removed, certain convictions can make an LPR ineligible to obtain U.S. citizenship. It is important to remember that immigration law varies significantly from criminal law. Even something that seems like a minor criminal offense can cause serious immigration consequences.
Criminal Law Definitions in Cases of Arrest of Non-U.S. Citizens
Immigration law is replete with terms and categories of crimes that do not exist in criminal law, such as: Aggravated felony, crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), significant misdemeanor,
and good moral character. Even a dismissal under criminal law is not necessarily a dismissal for immigration purposes. In fact, many criminal dismissals still count as a conviction under immigration law. Additionally, expungements will cause you to have no criminal record, but have absolutely no impact when applying for an immigration benefit. Indeed, in some instances, having an offense expunged can actually damage your immigration case. Surprisingly, in some cases, protection of immigration status or future immigration options may require accepting a more severe criminal penalty, such as pleading to a higher-level offense, serving an active rather than suspended sentence, or paying a higher fine. During every step of a criminal matter, the impact of the potential immigration consequences must be considered and weighed against the criminal law impacts of various options.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Case
Many criminal defense attorneys are unaware of the numerous immigration considerations and possible consequences to their non-U.S. citizen clients and may unintentionally make the situation worse by recommending a certain course of action to dealing with a pending criminal charge. Retaining the services of a an attorney who practices both immigration and criminal law — such as the Law Office of Kelli Y. Allen, PLLC legal team — and can consider and advise of the potential consequences in both areas of law (colloquially called “crimmigration”) is crucial for a non-U.S. citizen to make a fully informed decision about how to deal with a pending criminal issue. Contact our firm today to discuss the details of your case.
To speak with our legal team, send us a message or call (704) 870-0340.
A Small Law Office Providing Responsive Attention & Customized Legal Services
Comprehensive Understanding Of All Aspects Of Elder, Immigration & Family Law
Initial Counsel Through Face-to-Face Consultations
Personalized Solutions & Caring Support For Every Client
Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (704) 870-0340.
Real Testimonials, Real Cases
"Kelli and Allison were great and made our process painless and guided us in every way."Anonymous
"Very professional and I would definitely recommend them."Leon
"Every member of the firm was great!"Anonymous